Cinema chains drop gang film Blue Story after machete violence

Several officers were injured in the incident

Monday, November 25, 2019

A second cinema chain has removed UK gang film Blue Story from its programming after a mass brawl at a screening in Birmingham.

A number of youths, some armed with machetes, clashed at the Star City cinema on Saturday evening, with seven police officers injured in the violence.

Police arrested six teenagers, including four 14-year-olds and a 13-year-old girl, in connection with the disorder.

Showcase Cinemas has joined Vue - which runs Star City – in dropping the film from its listings, totalling 112 venues that have taken action.

Blue Story’s writer and director Andrew Onwubolu - known as Rapman - said his film was “about love not violence”.

“It's truly unfortunate that a small group of people can ruin things for everybody,” he wrote on social media.

“I hope that the blame is placed with the individuals and not an indictment of the film itself.”

Rapman posted a statement to Twitter and Instagram

The film features two friends from different south London postcodes on rival sides of a street war.

It is rated 15 for very strong language, strong violence, threat, sex, and drug misuse.

A spokesperson for Showcase Cinemas said it will consider re-introducing the film but “guest safety remains our top priority”.

The founder of youth crime prevention organisation Unity, Sephton Henry, told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham he found it hard to draw a direct link between the film and gang violence.

“Computer games are the same sort of thing. People didn’t just watch (computer game) Grand Theft Auto and start going around shooting people,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s 100 per cent to do with the movie itself, but I think it’s just kids behaving badly.”

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